Date of Award

Spring 6-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Leodis Scott

Second Advisor

Rebecca E. Michel

Third Advisor

Daphne Sajous-Brady


Formation of identity for individuals engaging in mathematical study influences the utilization and value of the subject matter. In curricular studies surrounding mathematics, a need for research pertaining to the development of mathematical identity for students with learning disorders continues to exist. In this transformative design study, a questionnaire-style instrument created for quantitative data collection provides detailed information about students with learning disorders and their identity formation related to achievement in mathematics. The quantitative aspect of this study helps to understand mathematical identity formation by analyzing levels of Confidence, Motivation, Anxiety, and Career Interest. The results show a statistically significant correlation between all four of these categories. Further investigation of the data presents differences between male and female gender groups when comparing levels of Confidence and Anxiety. The quantitative data analysis procedures inform the qualitative narrative and thematic data analysis of journal entries that were completed by the same sample of students with learning disorders. This secondary analysis shows a correlation between Confidence and both Career Interest and Anxiety. The results of this transformative design study, involving both quantitative and qualitative sources of data, positively contribute to scholarship surrounding mathematical identity formation for students with learning disorders, and how this identity can influence plans for post-secondary education and careers related to mathematics. The results of this study implicate the importance of positive mathematical identity development to create overall access and equity for students with learning disorders. Keywords: mathematics curriculum, mathematical identity, learning disorders, gender, post-secondary education, careers, equity